Use Calibre with your Kindle

Because of the big response and visitors to my post about using a Kindle with Calibre, I decided to translate the article from German to English. (Please excuse my english – it’s still a bit rusty..)  I own a Kindle eReader (6 Inch E-Ink-Display) since a few months and really enjoy reading books on it. It’s impressive, at what rate collection of ebooks and PDFs can grow which makes it even more necessary to keep them in some order e.g. folders.

You can transfer your content on the device using different methods beside downloading Amazon-Books via WLAN/Whispernet. For example using the Freeware-Desktop-Tool CALIBRE which provides several methods to transfer nearly any content from different shops or your hard disk onto a Ebook-Reader, in this case a Kindle.

Once you installed Calibre it can easily recognize and transfer single files onto the Kindle by drag-n-drop. A bit more of a challenge is importing a ton of books in one go directly into a folder/“Collection“ on your Kindle. Calibre can handle these tasks once you installed a Plugin called „Kindle Collections“ in version 1.7.10.

The following few steps will walk you through the necessary steps from installing the plugin to synchronizing your library onto the Kindle.

1. Install and configure the Plugin 

You can install the plugin by opening Preferences / Plugins from the Calibre-Menu.




Search for and select „Kindle Collections“ to install it, the security question must be confirmed with OK.

2. Show Plugin in the Calibre menu bar. 

Since I will use the „Kindle Collections“-Plugin regularly, I want to display it in the menu bar. You can edit the menu bar in Preferences /  Toolbars. You want to edit the „Main Toolbar when a device is connected“ and select the plugin on the left hand side to add it to the right hand side. Once you saved the settings Calibre will always display the plugin menu once a device is connected to your PC.


3. Add your own column „Collection“ 

The next thing you have to do is to define the „Collection“ itself, as it should be displayed on your Kindle, so you need to add a user defined column in Calibre.

 Again, go to Preferences and then to Add user defined column. The column requires to inputs, the first is the name of the column that’s used in the database and the second is the displayed name as well as the search term. Choose a name and confirm with OK. The check box on the next page actually displays the column on the UI.



4. Create a Collection and add books 

Now you can create the collections and start to add books to them.

First of all, edit the books metadata. Select all the books you want to edit to a custom collection and make a right-click on one and then choose Edit metadata / Edit metadata in Bulk. Switch to Custom metadata.



 Now enter a name you’d like to have for your collection into the field and save with OK.

Send your books to your Kindle with a right-click and then chose Send to Device

If you experience the following error, you need to make another adjustment.

„ERROR: Kindle Collections:
No Calibre columns have been selected in Customization.
Please set the Action to „Create“ for the column(s) you want to use when automatically creating collections.“

  1. Go to Kindle Collections and choose Customize collections to create from Kindle
  2. Select the row that represents the self-defined column and change its mode to Create. Confirm with OK.
  3. This looks likes this:

Now you can select some books and do a right-click and select Send to Reader. Your books are now being transmitted. Once the books are transferred you also have to transfer the Collections.




 Go to the previously created menu Kindle Collections and choose  Create collections on the Kindle from Calibre. To test this you also can try Preview collections from Calibre without saving first.

That’s it. Your books are now on the Kindle. Now disconnect the Kindle from your PC. Kindle now has your books but shows them outside the Collection. To change this your need to restart the device.

5. Restart Kindle

You can restart a Kindle like that:

  1. Press Symbol Home
  2. Press Symbol Menu (4 Lines)
  3. Choose Settings
  4. Press Symbol Menu (4 Lines)
  5. Choose Restart
I hope this worked for you as well! Unfortunately I did not have access to a Kindle Paperwhite yet to test if this also works. Did you?

More Info and Plugin-FAQ

Update May 2014: Removed all ads.

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